The trailer calls to old Hollywood more so than any other film in recent memory. The film is in black and white, the transitions are noticeably classical, and the music provokes an eerie noir feeling. The MPAA screen, which appears before every trailer in a theater, and the Netflix logo are even made to look like they’re from the 1930’s.
Herman J. Mankiewicz, or Mank, was a prolific screenwriter from the 1920’s to the 1950’s, garnering over ninety writing credits during that time. His most famous and award winning credit was co-writing Citizen Kane with Orson Welles.
The trailer follows Mankiewicz(Gary Oldman) “doing the best [he] can” while others, including his wife Sara Mankiewicz(Tuppence Middleton) “put up with [his] suicidal drinking… compulsive gambling… [and his] silly platonic affairs.” In balancing all of his earlier fallacies, Mank continues to write, while balancing friendships with William Randolph Hearst(Charles Dance) and Orson Welles(Tom Burke). Welles and Mank come together to finish their script for Citizen Kane, which is heavily based on Hearst’s life.
It is clear that though Mankiewicz wrote a plethora of stories, his own personal story is just as enthralling as any noir tale at the time. Including mystery, femme fatales, and, obviously, heavy drinking.
This will be David Fincher’s first feature since 2014’s Gone Girl and will be his first feature film for Netflix. Though the prolific director was instrumental in Netflix’s rise as he is executive producer on hit streaming TV series such as House of Cards, Love, Death & Robots, and Mindhunter. This film is close to Fincher’s family in many regards as the script is penned by his late father Jack Fincher, who died in 2003.
Fincher provides a clear vision in this trailer, which harkens back to the bygone era of the Hollywood noir. This film feels so different than any other Fincher piece, with Gary Oldman, and an awards season mainly filled with Netflix features, the two time Oscar nominated director has a chance to win an Oscar come the 2021 awards season.
Mank is set for a select theatrical run in November, until it is available to stream on Netflix on December 4, 2020.